whO the heck is ed smith?
It's almost sad that this year's version of Ed Smith will be gone by next year. It was neat to be there for the fleeting experience. It had an old timey, intimate feeling -- but with all of the 8,000+ crowds, it's true the concourses were pretty crowded.
Your obligatory stadium shot
Also -- all kidding aside -- Wayward O recommends Team install cooling room with water fountain for overheated Seniors. It gets hot at 2 p.m. in Sarasota, even in March. Wayward O witnessed no less than three ol' folks get carted out in two day games last week. Yesterday, right after Red Sox game ended, Wayward O saw lady just sitting on ground with police trying to cool her down.
At some level, that's just how it is in Sarasota. But still. Just sayin'.
Right before Friday night game versus Twins, Wayward O had great pleasure of meeting and chatting with O's broadcaster Joe Angel for a bit.
Ask him about handing off to O.J. Simpson
Initial conversation went something like this:
Wayward O: You are Joe Angel, yes?
Wayward O: I wanted to introduce myself. My family and I have been listening to you since ...
Joe: Don't tell me, please.
Wayward O: Since a long time.
Joe is a down-to-earth guy and easy going. He is one of baseball's most talented and interesting broadcasters. He's polite and a bit soft-spoken in person but you can feel his well-known sense of humor and irony bubbling just beneath surface. Team and fans are lucky to have him calling radio broadcasts. And Joe would like to see a winner as badly as anybody. He didn't call Friday night's game but Wayward O thinks he was there to watch Brian Roberts take first hacks.
Also in attendance for all games this spring were our Sun, MASN, MLB.com and local reporting crews. Wayward O can guarantee you, they are earning their money.
What about Team itself? The level of talent is very easily higher today than it has been in recent years. There are a lot of variables in Spring but starting pitching especially appears far stronger.
On Saturday, however, there were at least two base running gaffes. Miguel Tejada scampered up first base line on dribbler and was called safe despite exiting basepath. However, he was subsequently called out for leaving first base bag, presumably because he wasn't granted Time.
Dave gets explanation
This brought out manager for lengthy conversation; a rare site in Spring Wayward O is going to say.
Also, before Team broke through in Fifth, Garrett Atkins, standing on Second, failed to score when a Boston OF couldn't play a warning track shot hit by Justin Turner.* Atkins stood on second, watching play when he should have been halfway to third and should have scored. Instead he made it down to third and Team scored on next at bat.
Will baserunning haunt Team again this year? Probably it won't be as bad as 2009. But there could be a few head scratchers along way.
And Blog can't help it .... looking forward to watching Tejada this year.
Tejada elicits reactions among all fans. Some good. Some bad. But there's just something about his energy that Wayward O has always liked first and foremost. When he says he loves Game, you can bet it's true. But, finish your community service, Miguel!
In next couple weeks publishing could get hairy for Wayward O (see: Google's selfish, summary abdication of FTP publishing and surrounding blogger anger) but as for Team, well Team has Talent. And if a few old Yankees and Red Sox lose a step, LOOK OUT.
* going on memory, could have been somebody else besides Turner who deserved the RBI; not really relevant to Atkins' baserunning gaffe anyway